Perfect? In the words of Kimberly “Sweet Brown” Wilkins: “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” But let the PR of some of these celebrities try convincing these major companies otherwise. When you’re being endorsed hundreds of thousands of dollars, it may seem easy to just shut up and do your job, right? Well, let these celebrities tell it, nobody’s perfect. But too bad for them, second chances don’t exist when it comes to conducting business.
Admittedly, we all like a little controversy every once in a while. The cliche ‘Disney Star Gone Wild’ headline sells like hotcakes and if the checkout line at the grocery store is long enough, we will shamefully read it. For whatever reason, scandal and other tomfoolery just arouses our less-than intellect. How many times do you reach for the tabloid which read that celebrities are just like us; showing pictures of them taking out the trash, grocery shopping, or walking the dog? Boring, right? But licking donuts? Going on a high speed car chase? Shooting a tour bus? Tell me more!
We all make occasional ill-advised choices. Let Ariana Grande tell it, it’s all a matter of learning from your experiences. But when celebrities slip up, when is reprimanding necessary? And when are the repercussions too harsh? For these celebrities on the list, they were given a slice of good ol’ humble pie after their mishaps. These celebrities said ‘sorry’. However, these companies showed them just how sorry they will be. Read more to find out which mistakes these celebrities made to have their endorsement deal snatched away from them!
Bajan pop-princess Rihanna is not shy of flaunting her sexy side. And frankly, with a banging body like hers, it is no wonder why. However, in 2012, Nivea products made the decision to drop the singer claiming her sex appeal did not fit their company’s image of trust, family and reliability.
This is not the first time Rihanna has run into trouble because of her sexiness. She was temporarily banned from Instagram for six months after posting a photo which exposed her nipple. Yet Rihanna, being the unbothered diva she is, did not let the chastising phase her one bit. She recently release her newest music video “BBHMM”, where in typical Rihanna style, exposes her breasts once more. If that isn’t a big f*** you to all of her critics, I don’t know what is.
9. Lance Armstrong
Even some of the greatest athletes have the biggest slip ups. For Lance Armstrong, that slip up occurred when the professional cyclist admitted in a 2013 Oprah interview that he used performance enhancing drugs. The drugs ranged from EPO, testosterone and cortisone. Nike cut its ties with the athlete and his charity after raising more than $100 million by selling the famous ‘Livestrong’ bracelets. Perhaps the icing on top of this bittersweet cake was when he was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and was forced to give back a bronze medal he won back in 2000.
8. Lil Wayne
We all knew Lil Wayne was thrown slightly off his rocker after he was released from Riker’s in 2010. After serving an eight month long sentence, something was just off with the Grammy award winning rapper. Fans argued that his music simply wasn’t the same. Maybe an envious cell mate slipped something in his chow. Or maybe one of his ‘welcome-home’ blunts was laced. Or perhaps it was too many cups of lean.
Whatever it was, something inspired Lil Wayne to rap about sex left and right in almost all of his songs. In his defense, who else to better elaborate such a topic other than a father of four kids by four different baby mothers. However, on the “Karate Chop Remix”, the rapper got ahead of himself and rapped about having rough sex alluding to the rough beating of Emmit Till. After distastefully referring to one of the worst atrocities in the Black community, Mountain Dew dropped Wayne as a spokesman for their product. Pepsi Co. issued a statement stating that they would not conduct any future business with the rapper.
7. Michael Phelps
After an image circulated around the internet of Gold medalist and Olympian Michael Phelps taking a hit from a bong at a party, College kids rejoiced while everyone else lost their minds. The image cost him his advertising endorsement deal with Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes. The U.S. swimming officials also suspended Phelps for three months from competition. He was also stripped of his financial support from USA Swimming as well.
But take away a man’s bong, and he’ll replace it with a bottle. Phelps was recently arrested in 2014 for a DUI charge in Maryland. Phelps was caught going 84 mph in a 45 mph zone. But as it turns out, this was not his first DUI. The athlete was first arrested back in 2004 after driving under the influence. As the 2016 Olympics are approaching and with these odds placed against him, Phelps announced that he is still aiming to compete in the upcoming games.
6. Chris Brown
Whenever Chris Brown is in the news, it’s almost never a good thing. The singer has notoriously acted out on impulse on several occasions causing him to leave a bad taste in people’s mouths. In 2009, when Chris Brown and then girlfriend pop-singer Rihanna were involved in a violent altercation, the world painted Brown as a different person from his “Run It” days. The new-found reputation exposed an ugly side to the singer which would be hard to erase, even six years later.
As a result, Wrigley’s gum ended their ties with the singer who admitted the song “Forever” was inspired by their famous jingle. The “Got Milk” campaign also removed Brown’s advertisement. Not to mention, numerous radio stations pulled his songs out of their rotation. Nowadays, it looks as though Chris Brown has bounced back pretty successfully. He has several hit songs on the radio and recently released his album Fan Of a Fan in collaboration with rapper Tyga.
5. Rick Ross
Any other lyrics would have sufficed other than the lyrics Rick Ross rapped in the 2013 song “U.O.E.N.O.” The controversial lyrics he used would later cost him his Reebok endorsement deal. But instead, the rapper hit a low blow when he said:
“Put molly all in her champagne, she didn’t even know it. Took her home and I enjoyed that. She didn’t even know it”.
It took a minute for listeners to catch on, but soon enough critics were mouth-agape after the rapper blatantly rapped about taking advantage of a woman while she was under the influence. Reebok, in the company’s best interest, decided to drop the rapper as their spokesman after receiving 72,000 signatures from petitioners. Rocko also dropped the rapper’s verse in order for the song gain commercial success.
4. Josh Duggar
With reality shows come reality checks, and TLC was in for a rude awakening when the network decided to air their reality show 19 Kids and Counting. The show featured a seemingly perfect Christian-oriented growing family. But what the cameras didn’t show was an ugly truth that would resurface in 2015.
In 2006, Joshua Duggar, Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar’s eldest child, gave ‘family-friendly’ a whole new meaning when he was accused of child molestation. Even more gruesome is the fact that few of the victims were his own little sisters. Duggar admitted to the allegations of him fondling the little girls while they were sleeping and issued an apology saying he acted inexcusably. After the controversy, TLC rightfully suspended the show. Hopefully from now on, the only place Duggar’s hands will be are on a Bible.
3. Paula Deen
We were just certain that southern belle and celebrity chef Paula Deen was just as sweet as the pies she made on her Food Network show, Paula’s Home Cooking. Boy, were we wrong. In 2013, the once Food Network star was caught saying racial slurs in reference to a wedding plan suggestion. Unlike most allegations pressed against celebrities, Deen had no problem openly admitting she in fact did use the taboo n-word. Well, Paula Deen had to say no more in order for numerous companies to wash their hands with the butter aficionado. The companies ranged from Walmart, Target, QVC, Home Depot, and Sears. The Food Network also discontinued the airing of her show. I guess Deen’s southern charm was not so charming after all.
2. Bill Cosby
The Cosby Show surely had a way of making us feel like we were one with the Huxtables during its eight year long airing. Bill Cosby welcomed us into the lives of an upper middle class Black family and warmed our heart with each episode.
However, we were in for a shock years later when allegations of Cosby first arose in 2000 after he was accused of sexually assaulting several women. Since then, a total of 45 women have come out and claimed that Cosby drugged them and sexually abused them. Cosby admitted to issuing quaaludes to several of the women he molested. As a result, television networks such as TV Land and Centric pulled The Cosby Show off their channels. Hollywood Disney Studios recently removed his statue from their Walt Disney Park as well. His tour dates have been canceled and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is in favor of revoking Cosby’s Presidential Medal of Freedom which was bestowed upon him in 2002.
1. Donald Trump
Coming in rightfully at number one is ‘Mr. You’re Fired’ himself Donald Trump. Unless you have been living under a rock or simply avoid politics altogether, you are probably aware of the fact that The Donald is running for president. Trump is well known for being a rather pretentious individual who is not afraid to express his opinions. Not only has he questioned the authenticity of Obama’s citizenship, but has attributed laziness to being a Black trait. Amid promoting his political platform, Trump presented some very offensive remarks yet again.
However, this time around, Trump’s words came back to bite him in the butt. After a letter he sent to Randy Falco, CEO of Univision, began to circulate, Macy’s decided to sever its ties with Trump and remove his merchandise off its shelves. Serta mattresses also jumped on board and agreed to not renew its licensing agreement with Trump. NBC, Univision, ESPN, the country of Panama, and NASCAR are also washing their hands with the Presidential candidate after his tasteless comments. With so much controversy so early in his campaign already, all we have left to hope for is that his toupee at least stays with him during this bumpy road ahead!
huffingtonpost.co.uk, nytimes.com, cnn.com, espn.go.com, abcnews.go.com